New Zealand’s Tim Price has claimed his first four-star eventing title on British soil after winning the prestigious Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
Price had a fence in hand over nearest rival, and defending Burghley champion, Oliver Townend and jumped clear on his horse, Ringwood Sky Boy, to confirm his overnight lead from the cross-country phase and therefore win the title.
Speaking to Horse & Hound, a delighted Price admitted he took inspiration from watching he fellow countrymen Andrew Nicholson, Mark Todd and Blyth Tait on television as a child.
‘I took inspiration from that, but being here and in this position is not something I’d have predicted. I thought I was just good at breaking in horses and sitting on tricky ones. To be here and win is beyond my wildest dreams,’ said Price.
He also made reference to the showjumping course, saying he learnt from from riding the tricky six-stride distance through fences seven and eight, having jumped clear on his first horse, Bango.
He said: It was riding quite short this morning, which people weren’t reading, so I jumped in and made a proper connection for a few strides, then found myself off fence eight although Bango is a big-striding horse. So that reminded me if I made a nice six strides it should be ok.”
Townend best of the Brits, Nicholson in top three, Price with two horses in top 10…
Outgoing champions Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class held onto their overnight second place and finished as the best of the Brits, even though the pair rattled the first part of the double at fence five.
“I couldn’t be happier with his performance – he felt completely with me in all three phases, ” he said.
Price’s fellow countryman Andrew Nicholson produced a clear round on his mount, Swallow Springs to move him up from fifth to third. Sarah Bullimore was another one to move up two places with a clear on her horse Reve De Rouet.
Piggy French finished in fifth after her horse Vanir Kamira hit the gate at fence four, while four faults for Harry Meade at the infuential UK Sport oxer at fence eight, meaning the pair could only manage sixth.
Richard jones and Alfies Clover placed seventh, with Willa Newton eighth on Chance Remark. Both riders jumped clear.
Elizabeth Power incurred four faults on her mount, Soladoun, for Ireland, dropping her from seventh to ninth. Eventual champion Price rounded off the top 10 with a clear round on his second horse, Bango.
Next years event runs from 5th-8th September 2019.